Lunchtime Protest against Hospital Overcrowding By Nurses at Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick

PRESS RELEASE - Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

At a meeting of members of the INO and SIPTU unions on Monday 14th December it was decided to hold a lunch time protest on Friday 18th December between 12.30 and 2pm at the entrance of the Mid Western Regional Hospital Limerick.  This decision follows a recent ballot for industrial action which members of both unions overwhelmingly voted in favour of.  This action will commence early in the New Year, if the HSE fail to address the causes of overcrowding at the hospital.

The purpose of the lunch time protest is to highlight to the public the impact on acute hospital services in the Mid West region caused by the failure of the HSE to put in place appropriate and essential resources prior the commencement of reconfiguration. This failure had led to severe overcrowding at the hospital which is unsafe for patients and staff. The main causes of the current difficulty are the following:

• Closure of 15 beds (ward 4C) in the MWRH Limerick due to lack of funding and the HSE moratorium;

• Closure of another 15 beds at St John’s Hospital Limerick due to lack of funding and the HSE moratorium;

• Permanent closure of acute in-patient beds approx 65, at Ennis and Nenagh hospitals since the reconfiguration of acute services in the Mid West region;

• Absence of a multi-disciplinary team approach to discharging of patients at the hospital with nurses being the only group proactively engaging in this process;

• High increase in numbers waiting for admission from the Emergency Department according to the daily INO trolley watch as follows:

Trolley Figures Comparison 2008/2009

       2008 2009
April  157 252
May 81  239
June  94 208
July  123 176
August 85 105
September  72 188
October 212  211
November 245  268


Members of the public and the local media are invited to attend at the hospital between 12.30-2pm and to support the campaign by nurses, for improved services for patients, in the Mid West region.



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